Kentucky Court of Justice
Nelson County Justice Center celebrated for earning ENERGY STAR
BARDSTOWN, Ky., Nov. 28, 2007 -- State and local officials recognized the Nelson County Justice Center at a ceremony today for earning the prestigious ENERGY STAR, a national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy performance.
The justice center, which was constructed in 2003 and is located at 200 Nelson County Plaza in Bardstown, is the first courthouse in Kentucky to earn the ENERGY STAR and one of only 25 state and federal courthouses nationwide to receive the commendation. Of the 25 courthouses, 13 are state facilities.
ENERGY STAR facilities use about 35 percent less energy than average buildings, while still providing high-quality service and comfort to their occupants and visitors, according to the ENERGY STAR program.
At today’s ceremony, a representative from the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy presented Nelson County Judge Executive Dean Watts with the official ENERGY STAR plaque from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy, which jointly head the ENERGY STAR program. The plaque will be displayed at the Nelson County Justice Center.
“The justice center is one of the largest buildings in Nelson County, and while energy costs are still significant, they would be even greater if we had not included the energy-saving aspects that led to this award,” Watts said.
The 50,000-square-foot justice center includes several energy-saving features, including a geothermal heating and cooling system that uses geothermal water-source heat pumps, energy-recovery units and a direct-digital control system to optimize the building’s energy usage. The building also has energy-efficient doors, windows and insulation. The justice center was built to replace court space leased in the private sector and space in the aging and undersized Nelson County Courthouse, which was built in 1892.
Groups that played key roles in the justice center’s development were recognized at the ceremony today. They included the Administrative Office of the Courts; CMTA Inc., a mechanical engineering firm; JRA Architects, which designed the facility; the Nelson County Justice Center Project Development Board; and Nelson County Fiscal Court.
The AOC, which is the fiscal agent for the Kentucky Court of Justice and oversees the construction of court facilities statewide, is realizing an estimated $10,000 in energy savings annually at the Nelson County Justice Center based on what it costs for utilities at comparable judicial centers, said James Bauman, an architect for the AOC.
To earn the ENERGY STAR, a building must receive at least 75 out of 100 points in the EPA’s national energy-performance rating system, which is 25 percent above the average building ranking of 50 points. Buildings are rated based on how they compare to similar buildings across the country. The rating system is available for office buildings, schools, dormitories, hotels, hospitals and grocery stores, among other commercial buildings.
A building must be operational for at least one year and submit a year’s worth of energy-use data to the EPA to be considered for the ENERGY STAR.
CMTA Inc. decided to lead the effort to apply for an ENERGY STAR for the facility when figures showed the center was proving to be energy efficient, as planned.
Representatives from the AOC, CMTA Inc., the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy, JRA Architects and Nelson County Fiscal Court hosted the ceremony today.
For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov.